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Why You Need a Lawyer For Your Interview in Newark, Mt. Laurel, or Cranbury!

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Firm News |

In a previous blog entry, we discussed the government’s new policy of issuing Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny in lieu of actually scheduling couples for their I-130 marriage interview.  While this does not necessarily apply to everybody, it has been our experience that for our clients who have sufficient documentation, we have been able to avoid the trouble and inconvenience of having them summoned for an interview.

But what happens if you are scheduled for an interview?  In that event, you may want to give strong consideration to having an attorney accompany and represent you at the interview.  There are many benefits and advantages of having legal counsel present with you including the following:

Expert Knowledge and Experience:

Everyone fears the unknown.  And an immigration interview where your green card is on the line can be one of the most harrowing and stressful experiences of all.  One of the primary reasons to have a lawyer present at your marriage immigration interview is to avoid the uncertainty and anxiety over the process.  An experienced New Jersey immigration lawyer possesses a deep understanding of all the legal requirements, procedures, and most importantly, potential pitfalls that can get you into trouble.  A lawyer will be able to prepare you and your spouse beforehand of what documents to bring, what questions will be potentially asked, and how to conduct oneself in the event that an ISO (Immigration Services Officer) decides to separate the couple for a “Stokes” interview.  An attorney will also be able to sift through your documentation and evidence to help you present the best materials that prove the legitimacy of your relationship and identify the documents that look problematic for which you should be prepared to explain.

Handling Challenging Questions and Complex Situations:

During a marriage immigration interview, the interviewing officer may ask challenging questions or raise concerns about the legitimacy of your relationship. An attorney will know what types of questions are appropriate and which type are outside the bounds of what is considered legally permissible.  In some cases, a lawyer may need to interject to clarify the question, define the scope of the question, or in some cases, object to the line of inquiry.  Additionally, if there are any special circumstances or if there appears to be a misunderstanding, an attorney may bring these issues to the officer’s attention.

Confidence and Emotional Support:

It is very common for people to be extremely nervous while appearing for an interview.  While this is expected, letting your nerves get the best of you can be counterproductive and work against you.  An officer may wrongly infer that you are trying to hide something or are being deceptive when in fact, you are just tense.  Having an attorney there with you can greatly allay this problem.  While the lawyer cannot answer questions for you, the presence of someone else inside the room—who is there to protect your rights and ensure that the interview is conducted fairly—can go a long way to instilling confidence and inspiring emotional support.  Certainly, the calmer and more relaxed you are, the more likely you will perform better and answer questions thoughtfully.

Protection Against Unfair Treatment:

Occasionally, there are rare instances in which an officer can be abusive or ask questions that are grossly inappropriate.  In those types of situations, you would want an advocate there with you to safeguard your rights and act as a shield against legally improper questioning or arbitrary decisions. Additionally, even if you think the interview is going well, the officer may have different ideas and subsequently issue a Notice of Intent to Deny after the interview listing all the alleged inconsistencies and problems which arose during the interview.  An attorney who was present with you during the interview is a witness to what was asked and answered and can help you put together a response that fairly and accurately depicts what actually happened at the interview and what was actually said or meant.


In short, if you are scheduled for an I-130 marriage interview, be aware the the interview is a critical step in the process and will likely determine the rest of your case.  Engaging the services of an attorney can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.  A lawyer’s expert knowledge, strategic preparation, emotional support, and ability to handle challenging situations are invaluable assets.

\If you are looking for an experienced immigration lawyer to represent you for an interview in New Jersey or anywhere in the United States, give us a call.  You can book a consultation and we can acquaint you with the process and what to expect.